Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lou Dobbs Nails the "Bush legacy"

Beware the Lame Duck

By Lou Dobbs

Lou Dobbs' commentary appears weekly on

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Diehard GOP faithful, the dwindling number of Bush loyalists and political pundits of every stripe and medium seem obsessed these days with defining or discerning the "legacy of George W. Bush."

Lou Dobbs says President Bush has diminished a great nation and may diminish it further.

Frankly, I spend more time worrying about whether or not the United States can survive the remaining 15 months of his ebbing presidency.

There is little mystery about what future historians will consider to be the legacy of the 43rd president of the United States. Those historians are certain to describe the first presidential administration of the 21st century with terms such as dissipation and perversion.

Bush campaigned for the Republican Party's nomination eight years ago, styling himself as a compassionate conservative. He's amply demonstrated that he is neither.

Although many conservatives refuse to accept the reality, George W. Bush is a one-world neo-liberal who drove budget and trade deficits to record heights while embracing faith-based economic policies that perversely require only blind allegiance to free markets and free trade, without regard for consequence.

This president pursues a war without demanding of his generals either success or victory and accepts the sacrifice of our brave young men and women in uniform while asking nothing of our people or the nation at a time of war.

Sadly, this president has diminished a great nation and may diminish it further.

President Bush has pressed hard for the Security and Prosperity Partnership, the first step toward a North American Union that will threaten our sovereignty. This administration has permitted American businesses to hire illegal aliens, encouraged the invasion of 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens and has given Mexico and corporate America dominion over our borders and our immigration policy.

Were it not for an outraged public, the Bush administration would have been happy to cede control of our ports to a Dubai government-owned company.

The assault on our national sovereignty continues: At a time when public approval of the White House and Congress is near historic lows, the president is urging the Senate to act favorably on our accession to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

One hundred fifty-five nations have ratified the Law of the Sea Treaty, which essentially codifies into law detailed rules about freedom of the seas and the extent of territorial waters. The treaty also establishes an international bureaucracy to regulate deep-sea mining.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently heard arguments on the 1982 Law of the Sea Treaty, which President Ronald Reagan rejected but President Bill Clinton submitted to the Senate in 1994. A vote is likely in the weeks ahead, and this Democratic-controlled Senate is the same institution whose leadership sought passage of the disastrous comprehensive immigration overhaul legislation.

And just as this administration trotted out an Army general to support the Dubai Ports World fiasco and a Marine Corps general to support the administration's immigration proposal, it's now pressured the U.S. Navy to support this treaty.

Bush says the treaty "will secure U.S. sovereign rights over extensive marine areas, including the valuable natural resources they contain." The president could not be more wrong.

This treaty will submit the United States to international tribunals largely adverse to our interests, and the dispute resolution mechanisms are stacked against the United States. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, astutely argues that nearly all the signatories "have voted against the United States over half the time [at the United Nations]."

This administration can do nothing straightforwardly and perverts language at every turn. Take, for example, the words of Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte arguing in support of the treaty. "As a non-party," he argues, "We are not currently in a position to maximize U.S. sovereign rights over the shelf in the Arctic or elsewhere."

Negroponte's tortured reasoning is entirely consistent with this administration's intellectual performance over almost two terms in office, but it serves neither the truth nor the national interest.

The Law of the Sea Treaty would undermine our national sovereignty and act as a back door for global environmental activists to direct U.S. policy.

It would hold the United States to yet another unaccountable international bureaucracy and constrain our national prerogatives. Aside from that, the treaty is wholly unnecessary. The U.S. Navy already enjoys international navigation rights by customary practice.

Our elected officials in both political parties and the national media should worry less about the legacy of this lame-duck president and far more about the future of a great nation and people debilitated by his ruinous leadership.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.